DUI accident ejects driver

Accident at Sunset Boulevard and Westridge Drive, Tuesday, March 13, 2012 | Photo courtesy of the St. George Police Department

ST. GEORGE – Police responded to a DUI accident Tuesday night on Sunset Boulevard.

St. George City police officers were dispatched to the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Westridge Drive around 11:45 p.m. Tuesday where the driver of a Chevrolet Monte Carlo ran a red light and hit a GMC Yukon.

In a statement from the St. George Police Department, Capt. James Van Fleet recounted a witness’s portrayal of the event.

“A witness to the accident reported the Monte Carlo was westbound on Sunset Boulevard traveling over the speed limit. The Monte Carlo proceeded through the intersection on a red light striking the GMC Yukon. The Yukon rolled and at some point ejected the driver onto Sunset Boulevard. The Monte Carlo proceeded to strike the traffic control pole located in the northwest corner of the intersection. The Yukon then struck the Monte Carlo.”

Another witness, an EMT, arrived at the accident and tended to the ejected driver. The witness then saw the driver of the Monte Carlo exit his vehicle and walk away from the accident. The witness was able to direct an officer to the driver in the parking lot of Home Dept where he was detained.

The driver of the Monte Carlos was a 36-year-old St. George resident who was arrested as the result of an injury accident. After a medical release, the man was booked into the Washington County Jail for DUI, alcohol-restricted driver, negligent collision, leaving the scene of an injury accident, and other offenses.

The St. George Police Accident Reconstruction Team was called out due to the injuries as a result of the accident. The driver who was ejected was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center and later life-flighted to Salt Lake City with multiple fractures in his neck.

As the accident investigation is ongoing, Van Fleet said the name of the ejected Yukon driver would not be released at this time. The complete extent of the driver’s injuries will also remain undisclosed until the conclusion of the accident scene investigation.

Referring to DUI-caused accidents in general, Van Fleet said the St. George area had a “thankfully very small percentage” when compared to accidents overall. The majority of accidents the police deal with on an annual basis are traditionally caused by negligence, distraction, speeding, and other factors in which drunken driving plays a small part.

“Does it happen? Yes, but accidents like this aren’t common,” Van Fleet said.

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twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright 2012 St. George News

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